Better Red: The Writing and Resistance of Tillie Olsen and Meridel Le Sueur

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University of Illinois Press, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 282 pages
Better Red is an interdisciplinary study addressing the complicated intersection of American feminism and the political left as refracted in Tillie Olsen's and Meridel Le Sueur's lives and literary texts. The first book-length study to explore these feminist writers' ties to the American Communist Party, it contributes to a re-envisioning of 1930s U.S. Communism as well as to efforts to promote working-class writing as a legitimate category of literary analysis. At once loyal members of the male-dominated Communist Party and emerging feminists, Olsen and Le Sueur move both toward and away from Party tenets and attitudes - subverting through their writing formalist as well as orthodox Marxist literary categories. Olsen and Le Sueur challenge the bourgeois assumptions - often masked as classless and universal - of much canonical literature; and by creating working-class women's writing, they problematize the patriarchal nature of the Left and the masculinist assumptions of much proletarian literature, anticipating the concerns of "second wave" feminists a generation later.

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BETTER RED: The Writing and Resistance of Tillie Olsen and Meridel Le Sueur

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A formal, leaden treatment that uses the lives and works of Olsen and Le Sueur to map the complex juncture of left-wing politics, second-wave feminism, and modern culture. Coiner inadvertently points ... Read full review


The Thirties Literary Left
Scratch a Communist Women and the American Communist Party During the Depression
Meridel Le Sueur Biographical Sketch and Reportage
Le Sueurs The Girl Our Fathers Annunciation and Corn Village
Tillie Olsen Biographical Sketch and Thirties Publications
Olsens Yonnondio From the Thirties
Literature as No Ones Private Ground Olsens Tell Me a Riddle and Silences
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Coiner is an Associate Professor of English.

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